ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) has set a date for political parties to begin their campaigns for the September parliamentary elections.
In a statement released on Saturday, Kurdistan’s IHERC said Sep. 5 is the first day for the electoral lists and candidates to launch their elections campaigns.
The IHERC’s “Council of Commissioners decided the date for the start of the elections campaign will be from Sep. 5 until Sep. 28 at 8:00 a.m.” local time.
The Elections Commission called on the political parties and candidates participating in the elections to abide by the Commission’s rules and regulations.
Karwan Jalal, the Director General of the IHERC’s Data and Information, told Kurdistan 24 the preparations for the elections are underway, assuring different departments are taking all the necessary steps.
According to Jalal, “the Elections Commission will be 100 percent ready for election day on Sep. 30.”
“So far, 56 percent of individuals and households in provinces across the Kurdistan Region have visited the IHERC’s offices to verify their eligibility,” he added.
Elsewhere, IHERC spokesperson Sherwan Zirar told a local Kurdish media outlet that since Aug. 7, nearly 500,000 people visited the commission’s website and over 124,000 people visited the IHERC’s offices to confirm their names.
The elections will be held on the scheduled date, and the preparations are ongoing to ensure a fair and free elections process, Zirar stressed.
In May, the Kurdistan Regional Government announced that elections would take place on Sep. 30, 2018.
During a press conference on May 24, Zirar said Kurdistan would not use the electronic voting system adopted in the recent Iraqi elections, opting for a manual count of votes instead.
“The counting of the votes in the Kurdistan parliamentary elections will not be done electronically, but manually as agreed by members of the Commission.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany